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  1. I have often noticed that supermarkets will show price per Kg of products on the shelf. This helps the consumer make an informed choice regarding the size and pricing of a product. But, to confuse customers they will often show price per 100gms of the same product but maybe a different brand. I think this is a blatant example of deception designed to make customers, not that good with their sums, unable to make a comparison. Today, however, in Sainsbury's I saw a real hum-dinger! A box of 40 camomile tea bags was show with the price per 100gms. The same make of camomile tea bags in a box of 20 was shown as 5p per unit!
  2. Although Eon have lowered p/kwh ,unit rates,they have scrapped the Annual Threshold of 2680 kwh in which customers saw unit rates once this was achieved fall from 8.436p/kwh to 3.67p/kwh inc vat. Under the revised E.on EnergyPlan with prepayment the old 8.436p/kwh is replaced with a sole unit rate of 4.256p/kwh inc vat. However,there is now a daily standing charge of 27.395p per day !
  3. Research from new multi-platform financial management tool suggests 'accidental' bank penalties are on the rise. British consumers have paid nearly £650m in credit card and bank account penalty fees in the past year, according to research from the UK's first fully-secure, multi-platoon finance management service OnTrees. Nearly two million people have incurred a late payment fee or unauthorised overdraft charge in the past three months, which is a 29pc increase on the previous three-month period. An estimated 11 million, or 25pc, of the British population now have financial products with more than one bank. Three million have a current account, savings account, and credit card with different companies, which is causing the confusion driving the increase in shock charges. More than a quarter, or 27pc, of those asked cannot remember all the providers that they bank with, with two out of five being unable to recall the balance of their current account. These findings are the result of a study by OnTrees, a new online service which enables consumers to access all of their bank accounts in one place. Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/banking/9681112/Bank-customers-paid-out-650m-in-penalty-fees-last-year.html
  4. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined mortgage lender Cheshire Mortgage Corporation £1.2m for failing to treat customers fairly when collecting arrears. The Cheadle-based company was forced to pay up £1.225m for failures across its mortgage sales and arrears processes and two directors have been banned. Cheshire’s chief executive Henry Moser has been fined £70,000 and has agreed to step down from his role within three to six months. Andrew Lawton, the firm’s compliance director, has been fined £13,500 and banned from holding a significant influence function. The FSA has also forced Cheshire to pay out around £2m to nearly 2,000 customers in compensation. An investigation into the mortgage lender, which provided loans to customers with poor credit histories, found that when Cheshire transferred customers in arrears to Monarch Recoveries for debt recovery, they were charged £150. This charge was made despite the fact that Monarch Recoveries was despite an in-house company. The FSA also found that Cheshire did not always make a reasonable effort to reach an agreement with customers in arrears over methods of payment. The regulator also said that Cheshire did not always properly assess the affordability of mortgages by, for example, challenging a customer’s declared income. These failures occurred in the sale of mortgages and arrears handling from October 2004 to the end of 2009. The FSA said the company failed to treat some of its customers fairly when they fell into arrears; was unable to always demonstrate that mortgages it sold were affordable; and did not always communicate properly with customers. Chief executive Moser has been “disciplined” for failing to spot these problems and put them right. The lender overcharged some customers in arrears and applied arrears charges inconsistently and unfairly. Customers were also sometimes notified of charges after they had been incurred. Moser, as chief executive, was ultimately responsible for the actions and compliance of the company, but he failed to ensure the firm was being properly managed so that problems would be identified and remedied. Lawton was aware of certain poor practices taking place at the firm but failed to put them right and demonstrated a lack of competence and capability in his role as a compliance director. Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement at the FSA, said: “The company’s lacklustre approach to regulation, combined with very poor practices in collecting arrears, meant that some customers already worried about being able to pay back their mortgages were put under undue pressure, and sometimes ended up paying more than they should. “The failings of Moser, Lawton and Cheshire Mortgage Corporation were serious and let down a vulnerable group of consumers. Where firms and individuals fail to comply with our rules and treat customers fairly they should expect to be held to account.” Link: http://www.credittoday.co.uk/article/14657/online-news/fsa-fines-mortgage-lender-1.2m-as-2000-customers-compensated
  5. Have mentioned this before. Following an investigation by the FSA CPP were fined a total of £10.5m CPP was applied to both Associates cards and later Citi branded cards. It seems that CPP have a liability themselves for some agreements,while Citicard themselves have a Liability for others. If you have tried seeking a refund from CPP directly,they may refer you to Citicard,who will send you a letter saying they are investigating. I waited almost 6 months for Citicard to complete their inquiries which then saw them sending a cheque for 1 years CPP membership with no interest added. Their letter stated that this was in full and final settlement. I have demanded to be given a breakdown of what the payment covers and have preliminary accepted their cheque as part payment in settlement. It is therefore important that if you are contacting Citi or CPP in respect of card protection/Identity protection insurance,that you demand full information in respect of any payments they may send to you in settlement,so you are able to evaluate if you have been refunded in full with interest. We have obtained a dedicated address for the department dealing with these claims which is; Complaints Handling Team Citicard PO BOX 53680 London SE5 5PY email citicardsman.customerfeedback@citigroup.com Please share your experiences and progress with claims in your own threads. Here is the statement put out in November by the FSA We have fined Card Protection Plan (CPP) £10.5 million for mis-selling insurance which covered customers against the risk of fraud on lost or stolen credit and debit cards and against the risk of identity theft. CPP has agreed to pay an estimated £14.5 million compensation to affected customers. Find out what this means for you. CPP sold credit and debit Card Protection and Identity Protection both directly to customers and through high street banks. Between January 2005 and March 2011, these products might have been sold inappropriately. For example, we found that customers were told that they would receive up to £100,000 worth of insurance cover against fraudulent transactions with Card Protection insurance. This was often not needed as customers are usually covered by their bank. Furthermore, during the sale of Identity Protection, CPP sometimes exaggerated the risks and consequences of identity theft. Compensation for customers Customers don’t need to do anything at this stage, CPP will contact those who may have been affected and, following a review, will pay compensation to customers where appropriate. However, in the meantime, you can write directly to the firm. CPP has agreed to stop new sales of products (apart from where the insurance is sold as part of a package) and to stop trying to persuade customers who call to cancel their policies to keep them. You do not generally need insurance for fraudulent transactions on lost or stolen credit and debit cards because you are not legally responsible for unauthorised card payments – apart from in exceptional circumstances. Know your rights See more about unauthorised transactions in our Bank accounts: Know your rights guide (pdf) or see our Bank accounts: Know your rights page.
  6. In addition nPower has agreed to issue £10 vouchers to affected customers. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20625462 The abandon calls came just weeks after nPower were fined £2m by OFGEM for its poor handling of customer complaints http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/8859221/Npower-fined-2m-by-Ofgem.html
  7. E.ON has been forced to stump up £1.7million by energy regulator Ofgem after it admitted overcharging customers following price rises and incorrectly imposing exit fees when they decided to leave. The energy firm is refunding £1.4million to 94,000 customers who were affected by the errors – the pay-outs will only amount to an average of £15 each. It has also agreed to pay £300,000 to a fund that works to maximise the income of older people run by Age UK. The gas and electricity supplier said a computer error had occurred on its systems after price rises in 2008 and 2011, which led to some customers being overcharged or incorrectly slapped with exit fees. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/bills/article-2239137/E-ON-fined-1-7million-overcharging-100-000-customers-energy-bills.html#ixzz2DXbCYnBa
  8. Millions of Lloyds bank customers will shortly receive a letter through the post informing them that their banking details are about to change. We explain how the changes will affect you. These customers will see the banking licence behind their account transferred to Lloyds TSB Scotland, as the first part of the process of switching them to the new “TSB Bank”. Up to 4.6m customers will be switched to this new bank after the competition authorities forced Lloyds Banking Group to sell off more than 600 branches. The Co-operative Bank is in advanced talks to run this new banking operation, with a purchase agreement expected early next year. The following questions and answers explains in more details what these changes mean for affected customers. More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/banking/9703432/Millions-of-Lloyds-customers-told-banking-details-to-change.html
  9. Payday loan companies have been caught threatening customers, grabbing cash without permission and rolling over debts as many as 12 times. A devastating report has revealed how these controversial firms, which offer short- term instant loans with annual interest of up to 14,000 per cent, are leaving customers struggling with massive debts and unable to buy food or pay bills. Payday lenders claim they are performing a public service — making it easier for borrowers who can’t get easy credit from banks to pay bills. They say their customers are generally satisfied. But the investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) revealed an 800 per cent jump in the number of complaints about such companies in just two years. It also discovered these firms were dipping into customers’ bank accounts without asking — leaving borrowers unable to meet essential living costs. A spokesman for debt charity StepChange said: ‘This report reveals the systemic failures at the heart of the payday loan industry. This is its last chance to show that it’s serious about protecting customers from the rogue elements with which the sector appears to be riddled.’ The OFT found some lenders were actively encouraging customers to delay paying off their loans in a process called rolling over. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/news/article-2235892/How-payday-loan-bullies-stealing-cash.html
  10. Which? survey finds just 10% of people wade through a bank's terms and conditions when opening a current account. Consumers are unable to make sense of banking small print even when given unlimited time to try to understand it, research by Which? has shown. When the consumer group asked a selection of its members to answer five questions on the printed terms and conditions of standard current accounts from Barclays, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Nationwide, NatWest and Santander, no one could answer all the questions correctly. One person took 17 minutes to correctly answer a question on First Direct's small print, and another took 15 minutes on Halifax's T&Cs. In total the group managed to answer an average of just 59% of questions correctly, with Lloyds TSB faring worst (53%) and NatWest's T&Cs understood best (67%). Particularly perplexing T&Cs included the First Direct small print which read: "The cut-off time is the time before which on a business weekday a payment or payment instruction is treated as received by us on that business weekday." In plain English, this means if you miss the cut-off time for making payment, it won't be processed until the next day. The results suggest banks are not doing enough to make small print short and easy to understand, Which? said. Chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith added: "It is completely unrealistic for banks to expect their customers to plough through 30,000 words of financial jargon and small print. "Banks should drastically reduce the length of their terms and conditions so that their customers are not put off from reading them in the first place." HSBC topped the table for the longest T&Cs, running to almost 30,000 words, which would take an average person more than an hour-and-a-half to read. First Direct and Halifax would also take more than an hour to read with their T&Cs running to more than 20,000 words. A separate Which? survey of about 1,500 people found that only one in 10 had waded through the T&Cs when they opened a current account. Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2012/nov/21/customers-baffled-bank-account-small-print
  11. http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2012/nov/11/mortgages-personal-loans-credit-cards-interest-rates
  12. Their latest mailshot seeking to tempt users of prepay meters to switch include a "Gift Voucher" worth £55.00 with the offer ending 15th.December 2012. The £55 includes any dual fuel discount. The £55 is broken down as follows; £40 of free Gas/Electricity for those signing up by December 15th,with a further £15 discount every year if switching dual fuels. The small print; The £40 is only credited 6 months after signing up.discount applies only to meters using a key operated meter The £15 discount applies only to meters using a key operated meter. But hold on there is more. They have introduced a means for prepayment meters to top up online.Those switching will be sent a free connector for the purpose. In principle this is a very good idea and will mean customers will no longer have to go to local paypoints to top up the keys. But there is a catch in the small print. Users must satisfy PC operating specs to use the service. Payment via the online connector will be done by debit card £10 may be charged for non use of the device or if not returned within 30 days. Customers will not be entitled to the £40 discount unless the device has been registered and use to top up up meter keys 3 times within a 6 month period.
  13. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/rate-swap-scandal/9639202/Barclays-in-court-over-mis-selling-claims.html
  14. Following the confirmation of administration today,which will be from next week,We await a statement from administrators giving information to customers with pre orders which have been paid for.returns and warranties etc etc. Comets warranties were underwritten by The Warranty Group who will still have a responsibility to customers irrespective of Comet going into administration. Their website; http://uk.thewg.com/product-warranties/electrical/index.html Their Customer helpline number for the UK is 01594 863000 Customers with vouchers should use these ASAP. If you paid for goods by card you may be entitled to raise a claim under s75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Please feel free to post below if you have been affected. As reported by the BBC; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20164228 Comet's customer care team is handling customer inquiries on 0844 8009595. But dont hold your breath if what we have seen from their customer services for the last 3 years is anything to go by,
  15. Hi All I won't bore you with all the ins and outs of my situation at the moment, but I was suspended on full pay from my job with a Major International Parcel Carrier on the 9th July of this year. I am suspended for alleged falsifying records and lack of duty. I strongly deny these charges and have responses for all of it. I had my first investigatory meeting on the 11th July and was told I would hear from HR in due course. I then received an email requesting another meeting to be held tomorrow. I have spoken to my Union Rep and taken advice and asked for any questions to be sent to me so that I may consider them and my reply. I have been told by the Manager taking this investigation that she cannot supply the questions as they will be decided on the day. As far as I am concerned I have answered their questions fully and frankly and really do not have anymore to add. Can they do this? I loved my job and the worry is making me ill. I also filed a grievance and this has not been mentioned. My thanks for your help in advance.
  16. Hiya, I run a pub with a very small car park right next to a busy hospital & I am really confused about my rights on how to stop the hospital visitors from parking in the pub car park, as they take up the few parking spaces meant for my customers. My business is a dying trade & every month I struggle to make ends meet, so I need to be able to keep those spaces clear for my genuine customers. I have notices displayed saying clamping in operation but as I have never actually carried out the threat they have little effect. I am now worried that the new clamping laws will give them an open invitation to completely abuse the use of a free cark park. I am aware the hospital charges an obscene amount to park in the grounds so I understand why people will try to avoid paying & take a risk on parking in my car park but I simply cannot afford to lose any more customers. I am not totally heartless & if someone is polite enough to pop in & ask if it’s ok to park I do allow them to park there for a short time as long as they put a small donation in a local charity box displayed on the bar. It’s the ones that park there all day without asking or attempting to pop into the pub to purchase anything that I need to be able to stop. Please can someone explain what my rights are rights on stopping them from doing this in the future?
  17. Leaflets outlining who is eligible for cut-price stamps this winter are being sent out to UK households. Prices for first and second class stamps rose earlier in the year, but some people on benefits will be eligible for 36 stamps at the former prices of 46p and 36p from 6 November. The offer is open to those who receive Pension Credit, Employment and Support Allowance or Incapacity Benefit. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19871242
  18. Previously Ofgem could only order fines be paid to the Treasury. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19690632
  19. Switching is currently not available for customers with pre payment arrears of over £200 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19688019
  20. HSBC is to allow customers to use the Post Office counter network for basic transactions following criticism by the government. Most UK banks, except for HSBC and Santander, allow customers to make withdrawals and deposits at post offices. A previous consumer minister last year accused the duo of "holding out" against offering the service. HSBC said that it was changing its policy owing to customer demand. A year ago it had claimed that fewer than three in 10 of its customers actually wanted such access. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19623327
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